The Space Launch System would carry astronauts into deep space in a capsule, Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle, placed on top of the rocket.
NASA aims to land astronauts on an asteroid by 2025 and on Mars by 2030.
“President Obama challenged us to be bold and dream big, and that’s exactly what we are doing at NASA,” said NASA Administrator Charles Bolden. “While I was proud to fly on the space shuttle, tomorrow’s explorers will now dream of one day walking on Mars.”
The first mission is targeted for the end of 2017.
The Press Association reports the program, estimated by some analysts to cost $35 billion, could face opposition from Congress.
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